Blue Caplinger made history in a few different ways for Louisburg High School during the 2018-19 season.
Caplinger, along with fellow LHS student Alyse Moore, became the first Wildcat athlete in recent memory – if ever – to participate in two sports during the same season. All that led up to what was a spectacular finish to his senior year.
Caplinger helped the 4×400-meter
relay to a state championship in late May, which was the school’s first individual
track title since 2015. When all was said and done, Caplinger lettered in four
sports this past year.
These are just a couple of the
reasons why Caplinger was chosen as the 2019 Louisburg Sports Zone Male Athlete
of the Year.
The award, which is in its second
year, is to recognize an outstanding LHS student athlete. Louisburg Sports Zone
asked the head coaches at LHS to submit nominations and those nominations were
then organized and submitted back to the coaches for a vote.
The coaches then submitted their
top three choices and the number of votes were added up, which decided the
Caplinger was one of the leaders
of the Wildcat football team that reeled off 10 straight wins to start the season
and captured a regional championship before falling to eventual state champion
He was an All-Frontier League player on both sides of the ball as he earned first team defensive honors from the safety spot with 31 tackles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.
Caplinger played a couple different positions offensively and earned second team all-league honors as a multi-purpose player. He had 310 yards rushing and four touchdowns to go along 234 yards receiving and two more scores.
He was also the lead blocker on a
lot of the big runs that teammate Austin Moore – who was a first-team
all-league and all-state running back – had during the season.
“Blue was the most all-purpose player we had,” Louisburg football coach Robert Ebenstein said. “He was the ideal teammate who put the team first all the time. He always did anything that was asked of him. He was a tough competitor and a great all-around person.”
During the wrestling season, Caplinger was a state-ranked
wrestler at 170 pounds for much of the year. He ended his season with a team-high
33-5 record and was a regional champion.
At the Class 4A state tournament, Caplinger finished one win shy of his first state medal. In all, Caplinger finished with a team high in wins and also holds the school record for most career reversals (72) and most career escapes (86). He ended his Wildcat career with a 111-57 record.
“Anyone who knows Blue understands what a great young man he
is,” Louisburg wrestling coach Bobby Bovaird said. “Blue embodies so much
about what wrestling is all about. I wanted him to get that state medal so
badly, and he came so close not once, but twice. With these sorts of setbacks,
Blue has demonstrated that he’s gained the resilience to be a champion in life.”
In the spring, Caplinger became a dual-sport athlete as he
participated in both baseball and track and field.
Although his focus was on track, Caplinger helped out the
Wildcat baseball team as a pinch-runner as he stole five bases in eight games.
However, Caplinger did a lot of his damage on the track as he was one of the Wildcats’ top sprinters. He joined Justin Collins, Ben Wiedenmann and Chris Williams to win the Class 4A state title in the 4×400-meter relay.
Caplinger, along with Charlie Koontz, Wiedenmann and Collins, also medaled fifth at state in the 4×100 relay. Both relays broke school records this past season in the Frontier League and regional meets.
Caplinger will continue his athletic career this fall as he plans to attend Benedictine College on a football scholarship.